Writer Platform

Why I Tweet & Why You Should Too

hOW TO bUILD yOUR hISTORIAN'S pLATFORMDo you use Twitter? Would you like to know more about how you can use Twitter to build your historian’s platform?

This post is the first in a 3-part series on how I use Twitter and how you can use it to build your historian’s platform. In this post, I will reveal why I love Twitter and why I use it.

The second post will discuss Twitter strategies you can use to draw attention to history and your research. The series will conclude with tactics for tweeting conference panels.


Why I Tweet

Twitter is my social media network of choice. I dabble on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Goodreads, but Twitter is where I prefer to spend my time on social media.

I love Twitter for three reasons:


1. Conversations and Networking

Twitter serves as my virtual watercooler. I am an unaffiliated scholar who often works from home or in cafes and libraries. This work-life offers great flexibility, but it can often be lonely. Twitter helps me cut the loneliness by allowing me to interact with colleagues when I want and need to.

John Quincy Adams TwitterWhen I need a break from my work, I visit Twitter to see who else is hanging out online. I often start with the people on my friends and family feed, but I also check in with my favorite hashtags to see if anyone is talking about topics that interest me. You can find all sorts of different conversations if you know which hashtags to follow.

Note on Hashtags: Hashtags are the words with # in front of them. They let users know that a tweet is part of a larger conversation by defining either the audience or topic the tweet addresses. For example, #Twitterstorians is a tweet for historians on twitter. #RedSox lets fellow fans know you want to talk about the team.


Chatting on Twitter has helped me expand and maintain my social and professional networks. I have met many fantastic colleagues on Twitter by sharing information about history, asking questions, and by answering the questions of others.

Drawing of a bird holding a hashtag for social media tagI frequently meet fellow historians on Twitter before I meet them in person. Our virtual relationship gives us an advantage. When we meet in person at a conference, or during a research trip, we often fall into an easy conversation because we already know what we like to talk about. Moreover, since we already know each other we are keen to introduce each other to our friends, which expands both of our professional and social networks.

Twitter Tip: If you would like to meet other historians on Twitter checkout the hashtags #Twitterstorians, #Historians, and #PublicHistory.


2. News Source

Twitter provides me with a quick and easy way to check the news. Between the news sources and people I follow, I almost always know when something big, tragic, or important has happened. The people I follow almost always share links to interesting history, news, and sports articles too.


3. Digital Public History

Twitter not only connects historians with colleagues, it also connects people who love history with history and historians.

networkingTwitter allows users to share information quickly and unlike Facebook and other platforms that use algorithms to curate feeds, anyone who follows you or the hashtags you use will see the information you share.

Historians can, and do, use Twitter to increase awareness about history-related exhibits, tours, books, events, blog posts, conferences, and news. Sharing and promoting this information helps non-historians stay up-to-date with history-related news. It also helps them feel more comfortable about asking historians questions about history, what historic sites they should visit, and what history books they should read. This type of tweeting and interaction qualifies as public history.



Twitter allows historians to connect with colleagues, get news, and practice digital public history. This is why I love it.

In my next post, I will reveal strategies you can use to better enjoy Twitter and for how you can use it to build your historian’s platform.


Build Your Platform with Freelance Writing: History News Network

HNNAre you looking for ways to connect history lovers to your historical research? Would you like to build an audience for your blog or increase your social media followers?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, you should write guest posts or articles for established blogs and publications, which will introduce your work to new readers.

In this post, you will discover information about the History News Network, a well-established, digital publication that accepts freelance writing.



The Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University hosts the History News Network (HNN). The CHNM created the digital publication “to help put current events into historical perspective.” To this end, HNN primarily publishes op-ed articles.

HNN values historians’ work. Its founders and editors understand that society can’t escape its history and that the best way to look at the present is within the context of the past. The HNN editorial team tries to better our world by placing historians’ work in front of millions of readers.

History News Network has a substantial following: Around 300,000 people visit its website each month. Over 12,000 people subscribe to its newsletter. 8,000 people follow its Twitter account. And, its article archive generates over 10 million hits (or file requests) per month.

HNN attracts a lot of attention not only because history is always relevant, but because its editorial team vets each article. Readers can be sure that a subject-matter expert has written each piece.

The CHNM works to ensure the wide dissemination of the information published by History News Network. HNN encourages other publications to reprint its articles and allows search engines such as Google and Yahoo Search to use spiders to search its archives, which helps place HNN articles within their search results.


Overview: How to Write an Op-Ed

Typewriter oldHNN primarily publishes op-ed articles that look at current events within the context of history.

Its mission statement stipulates that historians have a duty “to expose politicians who misrepresent history,” "point out bogus analogies," "deflate beguiling myths," "remind Americans of the irony of history,” place events in context, and "remind us all of the complexity of history.” Op-eds serve historians well as they perform these duties.

Op-eds present thoughts and ideas about a current situation. They also make a case for why those thoughts and ideas are valid and important.


Op-ed Anatomy

Op-eds contain five parts: hook or lede, argument, evidence, acknowledgement of counter argument, and conclusion.

A good op-ed will make an argument that takes readers from point A to point B. It should contain a viewpoint based on at least three pieces of evidence. And it should make an attempt to consider an obvious counter argument.

Considering an obvious counter argument will help you establish your authority with readers.

The OpEd Project teaches three strategies for how to consider an obvious counter argument:

1. Acknowledge and Dismiss: Admit the obvious counter argument and state why readers can dismiss it.

Example: Some people say….but no one thinks this way today.


2. Validate and Trump: Recognize the validity of a counter argument and raise new evidence or a case study that overcomes the counter argument.

Example: Some people say…but history shows that if we ignore the situation it will worsen.


3. Personal Caveat: A stipulation that you cannot dismiss the counter argument, but you still offer valuable ideas.

Example: Attack me if you want, but I still have an opinion worth consideration.


By acknowledging and overcoming a counter argument, you will show yourself to be a rational, reasonable person who demonstrates respect for your readers.


American online newapaper web sitesHow to Submit an Op-Ed to HNN

The HNN editorial team encourages historians to submit articles that contain around 1,000 words. They recoginize that some subjects may require more than 1,000 words and others less, so 1,000 words does not appear to be a hard limit.

You must include a resume with your submission to demonstrate that you possess subject-matter exerptise.

Your op-ed should be free of footnotes and contain embedded hyperlinks to any outside source where you wish to direct readers.

You should submit your article to HNN via editor@hnn.us. You should receive an editor's decision within three business days.


Tips for Success

HNN Editor Rick Shenkman revealed that “if there is a trick to getting a piece into HNN, it is to figure out how to frame an issue such that people will care about it.”

One way to accomplish this would be to tell your reader something new about an event or frame an old issue in a new way.


Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailCompensation

HNN compensates authors with exposure. Its editorial team encourages historians to affect public discourse by publicizing the relevancy of their scholarship.

HNN will include an image and link to your new book, if you write an op-ed based on the ideas within it.



History News Network offers a fantastic opportunity to expand the reach of your historical work. HNN will expose your research (and you) to its large audience of people who are interested in history and its relevance to the present.

History News Network publishes numerous articles each day, which means its editors want and need your content. This means you have a high chance of seeing your work published if you write a well-worded, well-argued op-ed.

Like many history publications, History News Network does not provide financial compensation for writers, but the publicity and exposure that HNN can provide your work may make writing an article well worth the effort.


Share-Your-StoryShare Your Story

Have you ever written an op-ed?

If so, what was it about and where did you publish it?


Why You Need to Build an E-mail List and How to Build One

Your E-mail ListWhy do historians need to build an e-mail list as part of their platform? How do you build an e-mail list?

In this post you will discover the answers to these questions.

The first part of the post will reveal why you should build an e-mail list. The second part will discuss how you can build your list.


Why an E-mail List?

An e-mail list offers you a powerful tool when you need to promote your latest book, exhibit, article, or special event because it allows you to contact people who are interested in your work.

The people on your e-mail list gave you their e-mail address because they want you to contact them any time you have something new and exciting to share. This is called permission-based marketing.


E-mail List vs. Social Media Followers

An e-mail list offers you more control and access than social media platforms.

Social Media platforms control who sees the information you post. For example, in 2012, authors could count on their Facebook posts reaching about 16% of their friends. In 2015, that number has fallen to an estimated 1-3%; only 1-3% of the people who have “liked” your author page, or who have “friended” you, will see your latest status update.

Email vs. Social Media

The reason for this decline: Facebook is a for-profit business. The company earns money by controlling your access to your friends and followers. If you want more of your audience to see your status updates, especially ones that contain updates like “new book for sale," then you will need to buy a promoted post (a type of advertisement) from Facebook.

Purchasing ad space on any social media network will help you cut through the noise and target the specific demographic(s) interested in your new book, exhibit, or special event. But purchasing an ad still does not guarantee that your exciting news will reach all of your friends and followers.

However, if you send an e-mail to the people on your list, your message will reach the inbox of everyone on your list. This does not mean that everyone on your list will open and read your e-mail, but the chances that they will see the information you sent is much higher than 1-3%.

How to Build Your List

There are two parts to building your list: getting people to sign-up for your list and collecting their e-mail addresses.


Getting People to Sign-Up

The easiest way to get people to opt-in to your e-mail list is to offer them something valuable that is related to your book/site/product.

Ifmailing-list you write a blog that provides useful, high-quality content, you could use your blog posts to entice sign-ups. Presently, I offer a weekly digest of my blog posts to anyone who signs up for my list.

Some writers offer free eBooks or guides that teach people a skill they want to learn. For example, author Joanna Penn offers Author 2.0, an eBook that shares “everything you need to write, publish, and market your book, as well as how to make a living with your writing.”

Pat Flynn, blogger and podcaster at SmartPassiveIncome.com, offers a weekly newsletter with helpful content for those who would like to earn money on the internet.

Don’t have time to write a free eBook or weekly newsletter? Try offering a short, one-page resource list.

Historians could offer a list of their favorite books, historic recipes, clothing patterns, historic sites, period quotes, or top military officers, in exchange for someone’s e-mail address. Many history-lovers would find these types of lists fascinating and would gladly exchange their e-mail address for them.


Collecting E-mail Addresses

The easiest way to collect e-mail addresses is to sign-up for a reputable e-mail management service.

There are many e-mail management services to choose from. Before you sign-up you should investigate whether the service will allow you to:

  • Collect e-mail addresses easily
  • Require opt-in verification to help ensure that the e-mail addresses you collect belong to real people
  • Expand the size of your list automatically
  • Set-up multiple lists (useful if you have multiple products, services, or interests)
  • Send e-mails anytime you want
  • Create and send auto-responders (messages that send as soon as someone opts in to your list; this automated message would contain a welcome note and your free eBook or resource list)
  • Manage your list manually and download it when you want
  • Create and send custom designed e-mails


E-mail Management Services

There are many e-mail management services to choose from, below you will find an overview of 3 services.



About: Founded in 2001, over 7 million people use MailChimp to create and send e-mail. The service sends out over 500 million e-mails per day.

Ease of E-mail Address Collection: MailChimp provides widgets, apps, and forms that you can use to create an e-mail opt-in box right on your WordPress website or Facebook Author/Business/Fan page (not your personal profile page). The service also integrates with Squarespace websites.

MailChimpPricing: MailChimp offers 3 different plans:

Entrepreneur: Designed for those with 0-2,000 subscribers.

The “forever free" plan will allow you to grow your list up to 2,000 subscribers and send up to 12,000 e-mails per month; the equivalent of 6 e-mails to 2,000 people.

The free plan includes the ability to create custom e-mails, generate and send RSS campaigns (e-mails generated by blog posts), and analyze the open rates of your e-mails.

Paid plans in this category range from $10-$25/month and add the ability to send autoresponders, set e-mail delivery time by time zone, better analytics, and access to chat and e-mail support.

Growing Business: For lists with between 2,001 and 50,000 subscribers. This plan provides the same services as the paid Entrepreneur plan, but lists can be as high as 50,000 subscribers. The cost of managing lists in this plan range from between $30/month to $240/month.

High Volume Sender: For lists with more than 50,000 subscribers. Benefits include same as paid Entrepreneur plan, but the price starts at $245/month and goes up from there.


I use MailChimp to manage my e-mail lists. I chose MailChimp because the service offered a free plan and affordable paid plans.

Sprocket MailChimpI have found MailChimp easy to use and easy to integrate into both my WordPress websites and my Ben Franklin's World Facebook fan page.

MailChimp provides an extensive “how-to” help center that helped me set-up my list, integrate my collection forms into WordPress and Facebook, and create my RSS-driven e-mail campaigns.

Since I have a paid plan, I have made use of their chat and e-mail customer support system. The in-person customer support proved useful when I needed to troubleshoot why certain e-mails did not send when I had scheduled them to send.

I also think they are a fun company to work for and support. For example, they make hats “for cats and small dogs." I didn't really believe this, but they sent me one for Sprocket after I tweeted them about it.



AWeber LogoAbout: Founded in 1998, AWeber provides opt-in e-mail marketing for over 120,000 small businesses, bloggers, and entrepreneurs.

Ease of E-mail Address Collection: AWeber provides a WordPress plugin that you can use to integrate an e-mail address collection form into your website. They also have a Facebook App so you can collect e-mail addresses on your Facebook Fan/Author page.

Pricing: AWeber offers a 30-day free trial of their service. After your trial ends, you will be charged $19.99/month as long as your list remains at or below 500 subscribers. After you hit 501 subscribers, your monthly fee will increase.



macskin_mailpoetAbout: MailPoet has created a plugin that will turn your WordPress website into an e-mail management service.

Ease of E-mail Address Collection: The MailPoet WordPress plugin allows you to create opt-in forms for your website.

Pricing: MailPoet offers a free plan and a premium plan.

Free: The beauty of using the MailPoet plugin is that you turn your website into an e-mail management service. This means you can grow your list and send e-mails up to 2,000 subscribers before you need to pay MailPoet to unlock the 2,000 subscriber limit on your plugin.

Premium: Premium plans start at $99/year for one website. The plan allows you to send e-mails to more than 2,000 subscribers and increases your ability to analyze your e-mail open rate, reader action on that e-mail, and you will have better control over spam subscribers. As a paid subscriber you also receive priority customer service support and access to over 30 customizable e-mail templates.


I used MailPoet when I first started building my list. I used the free plan and found it cumbersome. I had a hard time creating nice, professional looking opt-in forms and e-mail newsletters. I also experienced many hiccups in trying to send my e-mails from the same server that hosted my website.

When it became clear I needed to make a change, I investigated my options and settled on MailChimp for ease of use and price. I switched from MailPoet to MailChimp in June 2014.



Email-EnvelopeAn e-mail list offers you a powerful tool when you need to promote your latest book, exhibit, podcast episode, blog post, service, or special event. It provides you with access to a targeted list of people who are interested in what you have to say and sell. And unlike with social media followers, you can reach ALL of the people on your list any time you send an e-mail.

The best time to build a list is before you need it. Use available apps and plugins to integrate the e-mail management service you choose into your website and Facebook page. It will take some time, but if you offer valuable content your e-mail list will grow.

Building an e-mail list may also help you secure a publishing contract or sponsors for your next exhibit. Publishers and exhibit sponsors love to hear (and want to know) that you have a list of highly-interested people that you can contact at any time to help make your next book or event a success.


Share Your Story

What strategies are you using to grow your e-mail list?

Which e-mail management service do you use? Do you like it?


*If you choose to build your e-mail list with MailChimp, I would be grateful if you would sign-up using my link as we would both earn up to $30 in MailChimp rewards when you upgrade to a paid account.


Build Your Platform with Freelance Writing: New Historian

New HistorianWould you like to extend the reach of your research and writing, build an audience for your blog, or increase your social media followers? If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, you should write guest posts or articles for established blogs and publications.

Guest posts and articles will expose you and your work to new readers, some of whom will be interested in your research.

In this post, you will discover information about one digital publication that accepts freelance writing: New Historian.


About New Historian

New Historian is a relatively new digital publication, that has a large and growing readership; over 60,000 readers visited the New Historian website in December 2014. Readership should grow rapidly for this publication as several content curation websites like history.alltop.com have added New Historian to their feeds.

The editors of New Historian present the electronic magazine as a clearing house for the most recent news about history. The publication covers news about all periods and areas of history and many of its articles highlight interdisciplinary collaborations between academic historians, public historians, archaeologists, and genealogists.

The publication strives to present articles that convey accurate historical information with an “unbiased, apolitical viewpoint."

New Historian offers some history editorials and book reviews, but the strength of the publication lies in its present-day news about history and historical discoveries.


How to Submit Your Article

If you have a new exhibit, an historical discovery, or other breaking news about history you should consider writing an article for New Historian.

New Historian LogoEditors are always looking for accounts of new developments in the field and pieces that provide insight into historical projects and the work of historians. New Historian readers enjoy articles that provide specific details more than stories with broad overviews.

Although New Historian editors are most interested in stories about new historical developments, they will consider articles that promote new books. Editor Glynn Forsythe recommends that pieces about new books focus on a particular aspect of the book.

Forsythe encourages all submissions to be between 500 and 2,000 words.

You can submit your articles and pitches to newhistoriannews@gmail.com. I recommend placing the words “ARTICLE PITCH” or "NEW SUBMISSION" in your subject line.



Presently, New Historian does not provide financial compensation to freelance writers for their work. However, they offer exposure. If the editors accept your article they will include a link to your book, blog, exhibit, podcast, or website with your post.



New Historian offers an opportunity to expand the reach of your historical work by exposing it (and you) to its large audience of history lovers. As the site publishes multiple articles per day, New Historian editors want and need content to publish.

Like many history publications, New Historian does not provide financial compensation for writers, but the publicity and exposure the site can provide your work may make writing an article well worth the effort.


Share StoryShare Your Story

What publications do you write for to increase the reach of your work?


How to Build Your Historian’s Website & Where to Build it, Part 2

How to Build Your WebsiteYou know you need to build your platform and you have decided to start with a website, but how and where do you build your historian’s website? In Part 1 we explored Blogger, Squarespace, and hiring a professional website designer as possible options.

In this post we will investigate WordPress as design tool for your website. Wordpress offers you two options: WordPress.org and WordPress.com.




WordPress is a powerful and easy-to-use Content Management System (CMS).

As an open source website creation tool, developers have created thousands of free and premium themes (website style and look) and plugins (tools that add functionality to your website) for WordPress. These themes and plugins make WordPress one of the most popular and flexible website building tools available.

Users have two options when it comes to building a WordPress website: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Both options run on the same platform, but they have different costs, maintenance, and functionality associated with them.




WordPress.org is a free, open source Content Management System. This means that anyone can develop themes and plugins for the software.

Features: Limitless possibilities. With thousands of themes and plugins you can create a website that looks, feels, and operates the way you want it to.


Hosting: Although the WordPress.org CMS may be free, you will need to purchase a domain name and find a hosting service to provide you with server space to run the software and store your content.

There are many hosting services available and almost all of these services run coupons and specials for the savvy people who search for them.

I host this WordPress.org site and BenFranklinsWorld.com with BlueHost (I had a bad experience with NameCheap). I have found BlueHost customer service to be great and the service has reasonable hosting fees.

There are also other hosting services you could use such as HostGator, GoDaddy, SiteGroundWebHostingHub, and InMotion Hosting, to name but a few.


Functionality: Near limitless. You can add and create custom themes and install plugins that will allow you to build your e-mail list, sell your book, and earn money as a product affiliate.


OnlineHubCosts: WordPress.org sites can be as cheap as your domain name and hosting service, usually about $10 per year for your domain name and $84 per year ($7 per month) for hosting. From these base costs you can add premium themes and plugins.

To give you a more concrete picture of what a WordPress.org site might cost, I have included a list of the features that I have purchased for this website.

1. Domain Name and Hosting Fees: about $139 per year

I am on the BlueHost Professional plan (they offer a cheaper plan) and I have reduced the higher monthly fee for this plan to $10.75 per month by paying for 3 years of hosting in advance.

2. Responsive Theme: $99

3. E-mail Sign-up Widget for sidebar and bottom of page: $50 (I purchased this widget over a year ago. SumoMe recently came out with a free one.)

4. Pop-up E-mail Sign-up Widget: $30

5. Amazon Affiliate Plugin to easily add and embed products with my affiliate link into my website (if you buy a book I recommend or link to on this site, I receive a portion of the sale, which I use to offset the costs of running this website): $15

My total cost for this website has been about $195 outside of hosting and domain name fees.


Maintenance: WordPress.org sites require maintenance.

You must install updates to the WordPress software and to the plugins you add.

WordPress.org provides alerts on your admin dashboard to notify you when you need to update something. I find this process easy, but it does require time (albeit minimal) and regular check-ins with your site (not a problem if you have also decided to add a regular blog to your website).

Additionally, there may be times when the servers hosting your site go down, which will cause your website to become inaccessible. Or occasions where you break the functionality of your website by trying to add custom code to themes and plugins. These events do not happen often, but when they do you want a hosting service that provides good customer support that will help you resolve them.

Before you select a hosting service you should ask your colleagues about the hosting service they use and/or conduct a Google Search for “[Name of Hosting Service] Customer Support Reviews." You may also want to search for server outages associated with potential hosting services.



I love WordPress.org.

I like that every time I come up with an idea for a feature I can find a way to add it to my website.

I do not find the maintenance of my website to be overly time consuming, but I maintain a regular blog and check-in with my site 2-3 times a week.

If you decide to build your website with WordPress.org, you will want to check-in with your site at least once every two weeks.





WordPress.com runs the same WordPress CMS software as WordPress.org, but as a commercial website it offers free and premium services.

The free service provides restrictions on what you can do with WordPress. For example, a free account cannot add plugins, custom themes, or a custom URL.

You can expand the functionality of your site by purchasing a custom domain name or a paid hosting plan.


Features: Limited by WordPress.com and the hosting plan you select.


Hosting: WordPress.com can be a great option for beginners.

WordPress.com hosts your website and maintains its software. The service will allow you to get a feel for how to use WordPress before you invest money and time in building a custom WordPress.org website.

With that said, when you decide that you want to free yourself of WordPress.com’s limitations you will need to pay a $129 fee to move your website to WordPress.org and your new hosting service.


Functionality & Costs: Cost and functionality go hand-in-hand at WordPress.com.

The platform offers 3 levels of functionality:

1. Free Plan: This plan includes a WordPress.com address, a free blog, basic theme customization, 3GB of storage space, and community support. Additionally, websites hosted at this level may show ads that Wordpress.com earns money from. The free service does not allow you to embed and display videos, add any e-commerce, nor will it allow you to add a premium theme—you will only be able to choose from the basic themes the service provides.

2. Premium Plan: For $99 per year you get a blog, a custom domain name, advanced theme customization (at this level you can access and customize the Cascading Style Sheet or CSS), 13 GB of storage space, the capability to store “dozens” of videos, direct e-mail support, and WordPress.com will forego showing ads on your site. You still won’t be able to add a premium theme or any e-commerce.

3. Business Plan: For $299 per year you get a blog, a custom domain, advanced theme customization, unlimited storage space, a choice of 50 premium themes, unlimited video storage, e-commerce capabilities (you can sell products from your website), live chat support, and no WordPress.com ads.


Maintenance: WordPress.com hosts your website and automatically installs all software updates for you. All you have to do is maintain the information and content on your website.



If you want to work with WordPress, but don’t want the potential headaches associated with maintenance and limitless customization features, then WordPress.com could be a good choice for you.

The premium plan would put you on par with what most will pay to host a WordPress.org site and offer you more storage, no ads, a custom domain name, and a bit more flexibility with your website.

Beginning with WordPress.com also doesn’t prohibit you from creating a WordPress.org site later.


Best Practices: Domain Names & Responsive Design

personal websiteHow to Select a Domain Name

Regardless of which website building option you choose, you should purchase a custom domain name for your website.

A domain name or URL (uniform resource locator) is your web address.

The best practice would be to go with www.yourname.com. However, for some www.yourname.com may not be available.

If yourname.com is unavailable, you could opt to select a different domain such as www.yourname.org,/.net/.us or with any of the other TLDs (top level domain) extensions available.

Another way to get www.yourname.com if it is not available would be to add a word to your URL such as www.yournamehistorian.com or www.yournamewriter.com.

Having a domain name with your name in it will help search engines and the people searching for you find you.

You can research the availability of domain names at a site like EasyWhoIs.com.

Bonus Tip: Before you purchase a domain name, search for a coupon and check to see whether your prospective website hosting service offers a discount or bundle deal that includes a domain name with your subscription plan.


Responsive Design

I recommend that you design your website using a responsive theme.

A responsive theme will automatically scale your website for any screen size.

Having a responsive is important as more and more people access the web with smartphones and tablets. A website that looks great on a 27-inch desktop monitor, but is not built on a responsive theme, will look horrible and/or be inaccessible to someone who tries to look at your site from their smartphone.



I am really happy with WordPress.org. I have used the platform for over 3 years.

[simpleazon-image align="right" asin="0789752905" locale="us" height="300" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41uZ-Y-CZIL.jpg" width="204"]There is a small learning curve to WordPress. I highly recommend Tris Hussey’s [simpleazon-link asin="0789752905" locale="us"]WordPress Absolute Beginner's Guide[/simpleazon-link]. I taught myself how to build and maintain a WordPress site using an earlier version of his book.

I purchased his new, updated, and very pictorial guide to use as a reference and it is even better than the earlier version.

With that said, if I were a beginner today I would seriously consider Squarespace.

Squarespace doesn’t offer limitless possibilities like WordPress.org, but it offers enough options that I might choose its easy-to-use website builder over spending the time to learn WordPress.



Here are articles that compare different website services and building tools:

WP Beginner: "Squarespace vs. WordPress—Which one is better? (Pros and Cons)"

Website Builders Critic: "Squarespace Vs. Wordpress: The Full Comparison"

Wpmudev: "WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com: A Definitive Guide for 2014"

Squarespace: “Squarespace vs. WordPress: Unbiased Comparison"


WordPress.org & Hosting

If you opt to go with WordPress.org, I highly recommend BlueHost.

I have had a great experience with their hosting service and plan to stay with them for the foreseeable future.

If you opt to give BlueHost a try, would you please signup via my affiliate button below?

If you sign-up for their service and they keep you as a client for 90 days, I stand to earn about $60, which won’t cost you a dime, but will help me earn funds that will offset my hosting and website costs.



Thoughtful-WomanWhat Do You Think?

What website design platform will you use to build your historian's website?

Do you have any additional questions?

Please leave a comment below or send me an e-mail.